April 10, 2013

Growing Sprouts: What Seeds Can I Use?

My friend was showing me this site where they sell seeds for sprouting. They also have information about the health benefits for the different types of sprouted seeds and specific directions for sprouting. I was surprised to learn that you can sprout almost any kind of seed it seems and even more surprised when I realized that I already had a variety of seeds in my pantry ready for sprouting.

 My husband got in on the fun and tried out a few too. The one above is a 9 Bean Soup Mix bought at Cosco.  I didn't think it would work, but surprisingly most of them are sprouting. I had read that split peas won't sprout and sure enough it doesn't look like they are sprouting in this mix.

Here's my sprouting corner on my counter. I'm still coming up with the most industrious way to grow sprouts. Maybe eventually I'll just go out and buy a sprouter, but this is working well for now.

 There are many pictures online of sprouts being grown in mason jars. So my husband came up with this idea. I already had mason jars so he picked up this plastic canvas from Walmart and cut lids for them. Then the seeds can be easily rinsed and drained inside the jars.

He also refurbished these juice cartons into sprouters. We put the jar upside down in the carton placing the twist-on lid from the carton underneath to keep the sprouts from sitting in the drained water. Then the carton lid is snugly placed on top to keep light out, but air is still allowed through the spout on the juice carton.
I also put a jar upside down on a lid with a container placed overtop, and another jar upside down in a clean yogurt container with the lid on top... what can I say, I'm using what I have.

From left to right, I have here the 9 Bean Soup Mix from Costco, Sugar Snap Peas my friend bought off the site I mentioned, Broccoli seeds also from that site and a Spring Salad mix of broccoli, radish, red clover and alfalfa also from the site. In the background there are two more jars ready to be soaked: chic peas- the dry ones from Food Basics, and "Cavena Nuda" rice of the prairies from the Bulk Barn. So we'll see how these ones do sprouting since that's not what they were being sold for I don't think.
 The Broccoli seeds and the Spring Salad mix had too small of seeds that would fall through the Plastic Canvas. So my husband designed a lid by poking holes through a Cottage Cheese container lid with a pin and then a toothpick to enlarge them. Surprisingly even really thin fabric won't let the water drain through it. So I chose a really thin fabric and poked some holes in it with a toothpick. That worked. The holes are big enough to drain water, but small enough that the seeds don't come out.

I have some seeds that I learned won't work for sprouting. My amaranth and millet seeds and also my pot barley (all from the Bulk Barn) have had the hulls removed. Also the Kasha Buckwheat from the Bulk Barn have been toasted so they won't work either. But I have plenty to experiment with for now.

Happy Sprouting!

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